herding cats

Feb 19 2012 Published by under academia, administrative crap, exhaustion

Well, I'm back from another super-awesome conference. This was not my normal crowd, so I made a lot of fantastic new contacts and got some ideas that could start up new research directions for my lab. And there was even some skiing!!! Not that much internet access, though.

Which leads to the downside... I had to do so much work while I was gone! This was the first meeting that I actually had to skip a session to work. Sure, there have been meetings where I needed to get some writing done or read something. But damn! This was crazy. EVERYONE knew that I was going to be gone--and would not have reliable access to email. However, this did not in any way reduce the number of emails I got that required--REQUIRED--my attention within the hour. Like when I got an email asking for something that apparently needed to be done by Friday. I had been working with the administrator on this for weeks--but for some reason s/he had not felt the need to tell me about this deadline. Most of the "emergencies" are concerning our current graduate student recruitment. Somehow (dammit!) I am "in charge" of putting together our recruitment weekend this year. This basically means that I have to get the faculty in my department to sit down and talk to prospective students. Imagine scheduling your dissertation exam...times 20.

sigh. I just got back into town after being gone a week. Right now, hanging out with my wife and Mini-G are top priority. This morning we had crepes and then the first ever sleep-over commenced. We have had so much fun! We went to the playground, made dinner, and watched a movie. There are two girls in Mini-G's bedroom desperately trying to be quiet right now (not very well).

I doubt that anyone at MRU is actually desperately waiting a response over the weekend, but if they are...well, I guess I don't care. This shit will still be happening next week.



6 responses so far

  • Pascale says:

    If something needs a rapid response, email is not the medium for the message.

    • gerty-z says:

      I think it was only because I wasn't around that they got upset by not getting immediate responses. It's not like they actually want to talk to me that much when I am sitting in my office.

  • DrLizzyMoore says:

    Classic. It's amazing the eminent deadlines which appear when you aren't able to get to your e-mail.

    • gerty-z says:

      blargl. The folks at the conference might have thought I was losing my mind yelling at my computer in the evening. Or maybe they were too busy yelling at their own Administrators.

  • Namnezia says:

    I just ignore them (urgent email requests). They can usually figure something out. Enjoy spending time with your family. Oh, and they (the girls) will eventually be quiet and go to sleep. We go through this whenever cousins visit.

  • What really resonates with me is that it's hard to get the faculty to meet with the perspective students. We have the same problem with these types of things at my place as well. This shouldn't be such a chore. If you don't want to meet the students, fine, then don't come complaining when you end up with crappy students that aren't interested in your research.

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